Scoring up 25% in the new NHL

The 2005-06 season is now 100 games old and the initial results are positive. The multiple initiatives to increase scoring are working. At this point, teams are combining to score 6.4 goals per game, up from 5.1 goals in 03 and 5.3 goals in 02. This is a 25% increase over the 2003 seaosn. However this is still down from the 24 team early 90’s 7.5 goals per game.

In 95-96, the NHL averaged 6.3 goals per game. That is the closest scoring comparison to the current season. That year, seven players scored 50 or more goals, with Jagr and Lemieux netting 69 and 62 respectively. The tenth best scorer that season had 107 points.

If the initiatives to improve scoring continue for the balance of the season, we will likely have a breakout year in stats. The NHL, for all its faults, has definately learned from the lockout.

Naslund, Heatley, Alfredsson, Spezza, Lang, Jagr, Palfy, Gagne, Ovechkin, Savard, Crosby, Recchi, Hossa, Arnott, and Satan are among the most recognizable players who are on a very early pace to hit 100 points. It is way to early to predict who will win the scoring race, but it is safe to say, that this will be a sprint and not a crawl.

25 Responses to Scoring up 25% in the new NHL

  1. Kamakaze says:

    Seems like 5-6 games are common now. Every other night you see a team score 6 or so goals at least. Didn’t Atlanta net n 8 or 9 the other night? Crazy!

    Hey, I’m a Devil’s fan, I’ve seen more defensive hockey than most anyone else can bare with and like it, but, so far so good.

  2. Flyer_Dman says:

    The amount of scoring going on right now is perfect. I love it. However, it is going to change significantly.

    The 30 coaches in the NHL have been exposed to the new NHL for about 3-4 regular season games and a handful of preseason games. They have no idea what is going on. What they do have is a lot of intelligence. They are gonna figure this game out, and either exploit the rules and see scoring rise dramatically, or figure out how to play tight defense with these new rules and see a slight decline (which is what i am predicting).

    In no way can the scoring go back to where it was. The new rules can’t possibly allow it. But I see it changing a significant amount, up or down, by the end of this or maybe next season.

  3. Kamakaze says:

    Well think about it. You are probably right on both accounts. You will have coaches pulling towards both sides. There will be innovators creating new defensive schemes to help their teams play good defensive hockey, and other coaches gravitating toward a more exciting brand of scoring.

    I think it will kind of balance it’s self out. the reason being because in the past decade, good scoring talent was hard to come by. it was easier to teach guys and say “stay here, grab anything that comes near you, and THEN go”, as opposed to “well, go and score already!”. There was just not enough talent for all 30 teams to do that.

    But now, scoring is a little easier. You also have young guys coming in, a LOT of them. Eventually, I think that will create a rise of more creative goal-scorers. Younger guys will be pressured more to excel in that aspect at an early age, I think that could have an interesting effect in the NHL game. That also makes a lot more guys who, in the past, where only marginal offensive threats, into potential 30 goal scorers or better, and some 3rd line players potential 2nd liners.

    I guess in a weird way, it increases the “talent” level of your average NHLer, making it more financially feasible for a team to ice a competitive team that focuses on offense as opposed to JUST playing defensive hockey with cheap talent.

    Hope that kind of made sense…

  4. tml28 says:

    Its not even fun now to see a goal being scored, its not even exciting when a team has a powerplay bcz it always ends up getting equalled out by another penalty. Whats the point of watching a whole hockey game just to have it decided by a stupid shoot out at the end of the game, i know it pisses me off, i like the old NHL. in the new nhl, its not even surprising to see someone on a breakaway bcz it happens to often, everything is happening to often, what about the penalty shot!!, the most excting play only happens once and a while, well just wait until the end of the game and you can see it over and over in the shootout, the new nhl is just a publicity stunt, its not that exciting anymore to see a goal

  5. mush124 says:

    is that cause The maple lafs are slow bums wh owont be able to make the playoffs in the “new NHL”

  6. Aetherial says:

    tml above posted exactly what I was going to say!

    I don’t know around the league but what I have seen in Leaf games so far is a disturbing trend.

    There are a ton of penalties but not a ton of powerplays. The Refs seem to be extraordinarily good at finding fouls when a team has a man advantage. A LOT of powerplays seem to be ended very quickly. It is like they are trying their best to make sure that the new rules DON’T affect the outcome of the game.

    I also notice that what is called still changes towards the end of the game and in OT.

  7. adambuffalo says:

    Teams just aren’t being disciplined with penalties. If you notice, teams can play without getting penalties. Buffalo is averaging 10.8 PIM a game and are 3-1-0. This includes a game against Boston which they had 6 PIM and a game against the Pens where Buffalo had 4 PIM. Both games getting a W for the Sabres. Now some may say it’s because Buffalo has a young team, who can adjust easier than a team of veterans which have been playing the old style of hockey for many years. This theory holds no water, since second behind Buffalo in fewest PIM is Toronto with an 11.5 PIM per game average. Now look at the bottom of the league with Washington and Dallas at 25 and 23.7 PIM per game respectively. Now this is just insane. 5 teams with over 20 PIM per game?!?! That’s more than a whole period playing a man down. People who complain about all the penalties should not be complaining about the new rules or the officiating. What they should complain about is their teams inability to adapt to change. The new NHL has been very exciting thus far, and people complaining about penalties may give the league the idea that they are being to strict. I like it the way it is and am excited to have hockey back.

    One side note: Buffalo is 3-1 (are they still finishing in the bottom of the EAST?)

  8. habsoverserver says:

    I think it’s all anecdotal. Watching the Rangers, I’ve seen a lot of 5 on 3’s but no 4 on 4’s. I saw powerplays at the end of the Habs Bruins and Habs Rangers game, both of which affected the outcome of the game.

  9. Esquire says:

    See I love Canadian Hockey and last night I finally go to see some. It was the Philly, Toronto game BTW. It was as though the refs decided that, that night they where going to let them play. The was battles infront of the net that didn’t end in .5 seconds when the offence decided to fall down, or the ref called a cross-checking penalty. There were hard checks without penalties called, it was simply beautiful. I miss the good ol days with High scoring like everyone else (minus NJ fans). but having a game where all the goals are scored on the man advantage isn’t hockey.

    There would probably be more scoring if there where less teams in the league, but thats a whole other can of worms, that I’m sure someone will eventually decided to get into.

    Oh and also, a msg to alot of players “the ice is not a diving board.” Quit doing it, its not soccer.

  10. cecilturtle says:

    Scoring might be up 25%? But 25% less people are watching the games… So the scoring equals out to the same as before if your really think about it and do the math! Ah what do I know… I must admit that the turtle in me finds a good hard defensive shell very attractive.

    Cecil Turtle.

  11. cecilturtle says:

    See, I love the Lord… And if lovin the lord is wrong? I don’t want to be right. Thats what I love about all you Canadians… You love hockey as much as I love the lord! And if lovin Hockey as much as I love the Lord is wrong? Then I don’t want Canada to be right!

    Cecil Turtle

  12. Mullet says:

    The New NHL SUCKS! I hate a lot of the new rules! some are just ridiculous! I will name the ones I hate!

    1)The shootout- it’s a skills challenge and not part of hockey! It’s like telling NFL teams that if there’s a tie their QB has to throw the football at a target to find out eho wins. Just have continuous OT like in the playoffs, thats much more entertaining to watch!

    2)Goalie playing the puck restrictions. I don’t think it’s bad but they should make the trapazoid bigger for more space for the goalies.

    3)Automatic suspension with a fight after the 5 minute mark in the 3rd period. This is possibly the most retarded rule of all! This is usually the time when most of the fights break out! Fighting is a part of hockey, and by allowing this rule you are possibly causing more stick related incidents! Get rid of this rule and the instigator rule and stick related incidents will decrease in hockey!

    4) The new obstruction rules! I like the base of this rule! but it’s too extreme right now! tiny hooks and holds should be allowed. Also defencemen should be allowed to try to move players away from the front of the net without getting penalties called on them! I mean i want to see hockey with some flow. With all these penalties it’s slowing the game down even more! These are the new rules that I hate!

  13. Mullet says:

    NHL forgot about the loyal fans with the new rules. JUST LET THE GUYS PLAY PLEASE! Scorings up because refs call every little pinch and scratch that happens now. So there are more penalties.

  14. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Your just pissy about the shootouts cause the leafs suck when it comes to shootouts. Just a word of advice to quinn, don’t put allison in a shootout! The guy has had 2 shootout appearances and still hasn’t registered a shot on net!

  15. leafs_r_a_joke says:

    u wouldnt be crying if toronto would have won the shoot out or even got a shot on net

    (allison is awsome, the guy moves at the speed of bread, i could stop his shots)

  16. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    yeah. they are. they havn’t played anyone good like montreal or ottawa yet. that should be good for 16 losses right there.

  17. habsoverserver says:

    I think it’s all endemic to a 30 team league without sufficient talent playing on small rinks.

  18. dcz28 says:

    I feel bad for Allison because he is a playmaker more then a scorer and Quinn (who i think took too many pucks to the head) keeps putting him in the shootout when he could put a player like Stajan or Steen which the goalies don’t know very well and would have a better chance at scoring…putting Allison in the shootout is like putting Adam Oates in a shootout but at the same time i hate the Leafs and its great to see them lose and i hope they lose 3 games for every 4 games they play all year

  19. dcz28 says:

    they did play Ottawa and lost 5-0 against them

  20. adambuffalo says:

    They did beat the Islanders, Bruins and Penguins. All teams that were predicted to finish ahead of Buffalo. They did lose 5-0 to the Sens, but if you watched the game, Hasek played terrific and the Sabres looked like crap. When they play again, I don’t think it will be a blow out like that. Besides, the Sens also beat the Leafs twice and the Habs once.

  21. leafs_r_a_joke says:

    “They did beat the Islanders, Bruins and Penguins. All teams that were predicted to finish ahead of Buffalo.”

    but wasent the whole league predicted ahead of buffalo?

  22. Adam_0486 says:

    i was just thinking someone should post an article about how the increase in scoring has ruined hockey games. I dont know about you guys but i enjoy the occasional 1-1 tie or 0-1 win. Im not a fan of 7-6 games. The problem now is that GGA will be out of this world. Look i bet you Luongo or Brodeur are going to win the Vezina, and they’ll have something like a GGA of 5.50. The days of 1.12 are over. Its a dark day in the NHL when Chris Neil is tied for 4th in goals scored.

  23. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    I forgot about that one. my point exactly. 16 losses between monteal and ottawa.

  24. dcz28 says:

    I guess you guys were not hockey fans in the 80’s then if you don’t like high scoring games…Luongo right now has a 0.76 GAA and a .976 save % in 4 games with 2 SO by the way i know its early and it will go up but so what?

    I like that there are no more ties and that we might get a couple of 50 goals scorers and 100 points players…oh and by the way Chris Neil is not tied for fourth for goals in the NHL

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